PHARMACY

3M installs track-and-trace system to manage health data at Army base

BY Jim Frederick

FORT HOOD, Texas 3M has installed a newly developed, automated data management system to track and manage medical records of U.S. Army service members and their families at this sprawling military base, with an eye to the kinds of health information technology solutions promoted by many health care stakeholders and the Bush administration.

The company’s new RFID Smart Shelf System—the centerpiece of a pilot project that 3M says could be extended to other bases—is designed to help cut medication errors and inefficiencies tied to manual tracking, retrieval and filing of medical records at Fort Hood, the nation’s largest active-duty domestic military base. Among other benefits, the new system will give health providers instant access to more than 150,000 medical files.

“The cost efficiency and far-reaching versatility of RFID is prompting an expanding range of innovative applications in almost all facets of society,” noted Lem Amen, who heads 3M’s track and trace technology division.

“The system is designed to provide automatic inventory monitoring and…error notification, and thereby essentially eliminate human compliance issues,” said David Erickson, the company’s Fort Hood project manager. Some 300 cabinets at medical facilities at the base have been outfitted with the Smart Shelf technology, which applies radio frequency identification [RFID] readers and specialized software to track drug utilization and other data.

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Take Care opens two Columbus locations

BY Antoinette Alexander

COLUMBUS , Ohio Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has opened two in-store health clinics at Walgreens stores in the Columbus area.

Take Care Health Systems now has 15 clinics in the state, including six in the Cincinnati area, seven in the Cleveland area and two in the Columbus area. Additional expansion is planned for the Columbus area this year.

“Take Care Health Clinics have been very well-received in Ohio since opening clinics in Cincinnati and Cleveland late last year,” stated Peter Miller, president and chief executive officer.

Take Care Health Systems is part of Walgreens new Health and Wellness division, alongside Walgreens newly acquired I-trax/CHD Meridian Healthcare and Whole Health Management, providers of worksite health centers that operate under the name Take Care Employer Solutions. Including Take Care Health clinics, the Walgreens Health and Wellness division manages approximately 550 worksite health and wellness centers and retail health clinics.

Take Care Health Systems currently manages 183 clinics in 23 markets throughout 14 states.

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Take Care could see 16 new clinics in Colorado by year-end

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, is expanding its presence in Colorado to include up to 16 clinics by the end of 2008.

The company currently manages three clinics in the Denver area. Additional Colorado expansion will include locations in the Denver area, as well as new markets Boulder-Longmont and Colorado Springs.

“Take Care Health clinics have been very well-received in the Denver area—our first Colorado market—since opening in May,” stated Peter Miller, president and chief executive officer. “Nationwide, Take Care Health providers have offered high-quality, affordable and convenient health care to more than a half a million patients, with exceedingly high patient satisfaction ratings. We believe that residents throughout Colorado will also find value in our patient-first model of care.”

Take Care Health Systems currently manages 181 clinics in 22 markets throughout 14 states.

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